'Wear regret skin tight, dear 'master'. Hojo is a sadistic bastard, and Vincent gets enough material for nightmares for years to come. Just where did Chaos come from, anyway? Pre-game.
The first thing Vincent heard was the wild, erratic beat of his own heart.
His eyes were closed, and all he could see was green-tinted darkness, but he could hear the steady 'drip-drip-drip' of falling water somewhere away. It was surprisingly loud, echoing in his ears.
He blinked slowly, watching, almost impassive, as the world swirled and tilted before steadying slightly, refocusing. He tried to move a finger, but it didn't budge. Nothing moved when he tried to shift his body. Strangely, however, no felt no surprise, no fear, nothing at all. He remained completely calm.
A glint of green caught his eye, and Vincent found himself staring at a syringe, filled to the brim with glowing Mako, a sharp, thick needle protruding out of the glass container.
Vincent jerked, his body out of control, even though all he did was to try to turn his head. That voice...
His eyes were wide open now, scanning the room watchfully, coldly and mechanically cataloguing everything he saw. He was in a lab, that much was clear, syringes and beakers and test tubes laid strewn everywhere, as if knocked over by a frustrated and angered scientist. Vincent smirked. He was familiar with that sight.
'Mine. You're mine.'
Vincent shivered, every muscle in his body shaking as if held taut for far too long a time. He convulsed, mouth open to take in loud, panting breaths as all of his muscles rebelled at once, rigor mortis registering in his brain, creeping up to him and enveloping him like a particularly friendly cobra.
And to think he had only tried to lift a hand.
He clinically noted that he couldn't feel his left hand as he shook like a leaf in the wind, even though the pain the rest of his body was reporting was pure agony. He simply waited for the pain and shivering to stop, then looked down towards his left arm.
Vincent saw the glint of gold, and /remembered/.
Lucrecia the baby screams gunshots god pain blood painpainpain Mako burning in the veins and Hojo smiling and gloating and the desire to rip that smile off his face and that head off his neck. A chainsaw's whirring and painpainpain again and GOD MY ARM I can see the bones of my arm and blissful unconscious and syringes and something crawling in my veins voice voices voicevoicesvoices voices.
He screamed, voice raspy and dry with disuse, garbled half-sounds tearing from his throat as he remembered everything. Lucrecia and the baby silver hair and green eyes and not mine and I got shot why am I still alive and Hojo with his smoking gun and smirk and blood blossoming on blue and white i>I'm bleeding I got shot the dry-cleaning bills are going to be horrible and the pain of his arm being slowly sawn off, the rasp of the saw accompanied by Hojo's laughs and his own voices screaming for him to /stop please stop/.
Vincent didn't question the origin of the voice this time, although he knew perfectly well that it was not his own. He noted that it was rougher, harsher and deeper than the one before. Standing up shakily, he swung his legs off the surgical table green leather spotted with blood and walked towards the work desk. Taking a syringe full of Mako glowing green captured in plastic/, he gripped it in his /gold metal left hand, and stumbled towards the door.
The hallways were familiar, far too familiar, and Vincent smirked grimly. It seemed that they hadn't bothered to transfer him out of Shinra manor, after all. He started towards Hojo's room, but stopped before he went further than three steps.
A scream echoed throughout the house.
He didn't think, didn't know what he was doing until it registered in his mind that he was running, running towards something he didn't know, but he didn't care that he didn't know. He was running towards the direction where the scream came from.
He came to a stop outside of the door of another of Hojo's laboratories in the Manor. His step was silent, barefoot on rotting wood and cement as he crept up towards the whitewashed door, and waited.
A second scream rang through the house, loud and ringing and /child-like/. Vincent froze, narrowing his eyes as he opened the carelessly unlocked door. The 'click' of the door opening was swallowed up by another scream.
A boy was strapped to one of the operating tables, flailing and struggling and screaming. Scientist in dirty /bloodstained/, off-white lab coats surrounded him, holding him down and making the child seem smaller than he truly was. Another one of the men was drawing a syringe of mako, mixed with floating white gunk that Vincent didn't want to contemplate. None of the scientists was Hojo.
He pushed the door open further, the squeal of the hinges inaudible due to the child's screams. He stared at the child, who couldn't be more than six, thrash and shout at his captors, screaming words he couldn't, and wouldn't need to, understand. But he didn't need to, for he would know those eyes /anywhere/.
Green, brilliant and almost Mako-bright.
'Kill them. All of them. Kill them kill them kill them they deserve to die for hurting her son. Kill them kill them.'
Vincent obeyed the voice.
A low, deep growl escaped from his throat, and his world narrowed and disappeared, leaving only the scientists and the boy behind.
Vincent screamed a scream that was half-human, half-animal that echoed throughout the whole of the manor. He was vaguely aware of wings bursting from his shoulder blades, crimson and dripping with his own blood. He looked down to his mismatched hands, and saw gold and flesh fade away into scaly red skin and gold-metal talons.
He felt his bones lengthen and his joints crack and change, muscles reshaping themselves even as his nerves screamed in protest and his brain shrieked its denial at what was happening. He felt his teeth lengthen, fangs coming into being and horns, sharp and deadly, burst from the nest of his hair.
Vincent felt all those, and neatly filed the sensations away to be analysed later. His eyes (red, he knew, somehow), were focused on the gaping, horrified scientists. Prey.
A test tube fell from limp hands, dropping to the floor and shattering with a crash.
The first thing Vincent smelled was the metallic stink of blood.
His eyes were closed, and all he could see was red-tinted darkness, but he could hear the thick, steady 'drip-drip-drip' near him, and, somehow, he knew it wasn't water.
He snapped open his eyes.
Blood; blood everywhere/, flooding the whole lab with red. He didn't know why he was there, he didn't care, he could only see the blood and the bodies laid strewn everywhere around him, like puppets with broken strings. He tried to move, tried to speak, but all he could do was stare at /oh gods, they're scientists Lucrecia is she here she's dead she's dead you killed her you didn't stop her you killed her.
Vincent gasped, choking on his own spit as he stared at his hands. Red cloaked his fingers, slowly darkening and coagulating on the webbing between his fingers. He almost couldn't move them, the digits jerking erratically when he tried.
A glint of green caught his eye, and he found himself staring at wide, wide green eyes and a too-pale, too-small face. The eyes were too familiar, unfitting on an unfamiliar face and silver hair. Vincent instantly recognized him for who he was.
He backed away, ashamed, and started to run down familiar hallways that suddenly seemed strange. He stumbled, movements unsteady but he was moving and running away from those too-familiar green eyes wearing an unfamiliar expression on a face that was the melding of his most beautiful dream and his worst nightmare.
'How did you like that? You killed all of them, you do realize? All those scientists wearing coats like hers...'
The voice. Vincent stopped suddenly, nearly tripping over his own feet when he heard the voice that he knew, this time, that it was not his own. His inner voice did not carry such malice.
'You killed them, just like you killed her. Does it feel good, all the blood in your hands? Does it feel good to kill them, to see the light fading? You did it before. You were a Turk, weren't you? Killing her is the same as killing anyone else, except you did it slower.
"Who are you, why are you in my head? Get out. /Get out/!"
A soft, malicious chuckle that echoed through his head, and he shivered.
'I can't, dear Master. I live inside your head. I am...the only one you will ever have inside you.'
"Don't make me repeat myself. Who are you, and why are you in my head?"
'Oh? So aggressive, are you like that with her too? Heh, I'll tell you. I am who you want me to be, but my previous 'masters' called me Chaos. And why am I in your head? That is a question to ask the dear profession Crescent of yours, is it not?"
Loud, raucous laughter filled Vincent's mind, and he winced involuntarily, shivers creeping up his spine.
"Lucrecia? No, no, you're lying. You're lying, you bastard."
'Am I? Then ask her then... Oh, you can't, can you? You killed her, after all.'
Vincent's head spun, filled with images of Lucrecia's dead body I saw her die and I did nothing and the caking blood on his hands I killed all of those scientists and wide, wide green eyes /Lucrecia's son/.
He didn't know when he reached the door once more, but he stumbled inside it, trying to catch his breath. The fallen empty test tubes were almost a comfort more so as there was no dead bodies and no child green eyes so like hers. He collapsed into the table, dimly recognising that if he did not watch the blood off his hands, it would dry and stay there.
It didn't matter, anyway. What was a little more blood, after all?
'Wear regret skin tight, dear 'master'. You are a great sinner... you killed the one you love, did you not? I do not tolerate lies, 'master'.'
Blood and Lucrecia's face and a silver-haired boy with her eyes and he has red eyes of a devil now and a demon in his head and he killed her killed her killed her killed all of them all his fault all his fault he's a sinner a sinner sinner sinner sinner and there was nothing he could do but to be punished for he is a sinner a sinner sinner sinner sinner
Hojo laughed, throwing his head back and cackling for all his worth as he watched the monitors. He shook his head, wiping the tears of mirth gathered at his eyes as he smirked, listening to the sound of his rival's tortured scream.
"You should know it only gets more dangerous the farther you go down the rabbit hole, Valentine. Did I tell you not to mess with me?"
The scientist shook his head, still smirking as he stood and switched off the monitors. His hand curled around the three red summoning materia sitting in his palm. It was time to give Chaos a few more playmates.